Tennessee Park Rangers Association News

Congratulations to

Park Ranger of the Year 2013 Josh Walsh

Montgomery Bell State Park


Congratulations Josh!





Nomination Letter:

 

Ranger of the Year 2014

Nomination Letter

Ranger Josh Walsh

There are few individuals in Tennessee State Parks who exude the dedication and forward push

as Park Ranger Josh Walsh at Montgomery Bell State Park. His drive is apparent in his

ongoing press for more numbers in his programs, more money through his fundraisers, more

effect through his efforts. His first year at Montgomery Bell found him jumping into the fray with

both feet. He took no time getting his feet wet by reorganizing the Friends of Montgomery Bell

and organizing a golf tournament that raised $1500 for the organization. He helped the Friends

group double in number, get a new website design donated by the Nashville Art Institute, and

now has the group working on a CCC memorial for the park.

He held a variety of unique programs throughout the year, including the park's first Christmas in

the Park program, lighting the park chapel with candles and lanterns and having a live musician

sing carols for visitors. He is currently working on a partnership between the park and the

Special Olympics.

This brings me to the single reason, if no other, Ranger Walsh should be voted for as Ranger of

the Year. In the summer of 2013 Josh held an event that had not been attempted in Tennessee

State Parks to my knowledge. Seeing a need in the community that was not being met, Ranger

Walsh held a Junior Ranger Camp for special needs children. Camp activities included

canoeing, archery, fishing, swimming, and a safety day as well as environmental educational

programs. For many of these children it was the first time they had ever been exposed to these

activities. Ranger Walsh brought in Rangers from across the state as well as officers from

TWRA, the Burns Fire Department, Dickson County Sheriffs Department, Dickson EMS, and Air

Evac to participate with the children during the event. The response from the community, care

givers, and especially the children was amazing. It wasn't just the attendees who were touched

by the experience of the camp, it was the instructors, the family and friends of the children, and

those who hear about Josh's efforts from outside the park. This camp has set the stage for

Tennessee State Parks to fill a need in communities around the state to hold their own Junior

Ranger Camps for special needs children.

Ranger Walsh, in his first year at Montgomery Bell State Park and 9th year as a Park Ranger,

held up the standard to what a Park Ranger should be and was a prime example of the mission

that Tennessee State Parks stands for. Please vote for him as Ranger of the Year for 2013.

 

Previous Winners:

2012 George Shinn

2011 J.R. Tinch

2010 Jacob Young

2009  Brandon Taylor 

2008  Mike Robertson

2007  April Welch

 



 

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